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Atherton says racing has lost its way
Scott Atherton plugs his own series
At a joint press conference with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, American Le Mans Series President/CEO Scott Atherton today declared that most forms of auto racing have lost their way, particularly when addressing environmental issues.

“Racing has become better known for back flips and soap opera-like drama,” said Atherton. “And while there is nothing wrong with entertainment-based motorsport, the role of the automobile in the equation has been reduced to that of an irrelevant appliance of parity.

“Through our alliance with the EPA, DOE and SAE International, we defined the protocols and standards for Green Racing,” added Atherton. “Within the auto racing industry there is a lot of self-proclaimed leadership in this area, but not a lot of substance.”

Atherton had been invited to Washington, D.C. by the EPA and DOE to attend the Washington Auto Show as well as SAE International’s Government Industry Meetings. His remarks at the EPA-DOE press conference focused on the unique relationship formed a year ago between Washington (D.C.) and the American Le Mans Series.

“Over the last 10 years, the relevance of auto racing has come full circle, however,” declared Atherton. “Since its launch, the American Le Mans Series has been providing a platform of world class racing for manufacturers to showcase technology that’s cutting edge, relevant and has a direct link back to the production line.”

While the criteria for any form of motorsport to be described as “green” is understandably very complex, Atherton says it boils down to featuring the following:

• Renewable bio-based fuels
• Multiple engine, fuel and powertrain configurations
• Regenerative energy technologies, embracing the full range of on-board energy storage for light-duty vehicles
• And ultimately, a Green Cup Competition that meets the protocols of the government agencies.

According to Atherton, the American Le Mans Series is the only true form of Green Racing.

Atherton will be the featured speaker Wednesday at SAE International’s Government Industry Meeting’s breakfast.

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